While neuropsychological deficits are evident among methamphetamine (meth) addicts, they are often unrelated to meth exposure parameters such as lifetime consumption and length of abstinence. The notion that some meth users develop neuropsychological impairments while others with similar drug exposure do not, suggests that there may be individual differences in vulnerability to the neurotoxic effects of meth. One source of differential vulnerability could come from genotypic variability in metabolic clearance of meth, dependent on the activity of cytochrome P450-2D6 (CYP2D6). We compared neuropsychological performance in 52 individuals with a history of meth dependence according with their CYP2D6 phenotype. All were free of HIV or hepatitis C infection and did not meet dependence criteria for other substances. Extensive metabolizers showed worse overall neuropsychological performance and were three times as likely to be cognitively impaired as intermediate/poor metabolizers. Groups did not differ in their demographic or meth use characteristics, nor did they evidence differences in mood disorder or other substance use. This preliminary study is the first to suggest that efficient meth metabolism is associated with worse neurocognitive outcomes in humans, and implicates the products of oxidative metabolism of meth as a possible source of brain injury.
Substance abuse; CYP2D6; Polymorphisms; Neurotoxicity; Metabolism; Cognition
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and methamphetamine (METH) dependence are independently associated with neuronal dysfunction. The coupling between cerebral blood flow (CBF) and neuronal activity is the basis of many task-based functional neuroimaging techniques. We examined the interaction between HIV infection and a previous history of METH dependence on CBF within the lenticular nuclei (LN). Twenty-four HIV−/METH−, eight HIV−/METH+, 24 HIV+/METH−, and 15 HIV+/METH+ participants performed a finger tapping paradigm. A multiple regression analysis of covariance assessed associations and two-way interactions between CBF and HIV serostatus and/or previous history of METH dependence. HIV+ individuals had a trend towards a lower baseline CBF (−10%, p=0.07) and greater CBF changes for the functional task (+32%, p=0.01) than HIV− subjects. Individuals with a previous history of METH dependence had a lower baseline CBF (–16%, p= 0.007) and greater CBF changes for a functional task (+33%, p=0.02). However, no interaction existed between HIV serostatus and previous history of METH dependence for either baseline CBF (p=0.53) or CBF changes for a functional task (p=0.10). In addition, CBF and volume in the LN were not correlated. A possible additive relationship could exist between HIV infection and a history of METH dependence on CBF with a previous history of METH dependence having a larger contribution. Abnormalities in CBF could serve as a surrogate measure for assessing the chronic effects of HIV and previous METH dependence on brain function.
Human immunodeficiency virus; Methamphetamine; Cerebral blood flow; Lenticular nuclei; Highly active antiretroviral therapy
Macrophages are one of HIV-1’s principal targets and chiefly responsible for translocating HIV into the central nervous system (CNS). Previous research suggested an increase in macrophages being infected by HIV in the presence of methamphetamine (METH) or increased extracellular dopamine (DA). Experimental studies indicate that this is mediated by DA receptors, including DA receptor D3 (DRD3), which is expressed in macrophages. A single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) of the DRD3 gene (rs6280TC) modulates its dopamine binding affinity, resulting in the possibility that inheriting a variant of this SNP increases macrophage susceptibility to HIV infection in the presence of METH and DA, particularly in the CNS where METH is sequestered, leading to cognitive impairment (CI). Thus, we conducted a retrospective clinical investigation to evaluate whether rs6280TC is associated with CI among HIV-positive METH users. We stratified 310 males by HIV serostatus (HIV-positive, -negative) and METH dependence (METH-positive, -negative) and then by rs6280TC genotype (CC, CT, and TT). Genotypic groups within each of four HIV/METH groups were compared for rates of CI. We hypothesized that only HIV-positive/METH-positive carriers of the C allele, which increases the DRD3’s binding to DA, would be more likely to develop CI. Cochran–Armitage test for trends in proportions yielded significant (p<0.05) association between three genotypes and impairment rates in the hypothesized order, but only among HIV-positive/METH-positive subjects. The results also confirmed that C allele carriers (CC and CT, 53.3%) in this group had higher impairment rates (p=0.05) than TT carriers (33.3%). These findings support the theory that rs6280TC influences the frequency of CI in HIV-positive/METH-positive males.
HIV; Methamphetamine; Cognitive impairment; SNP; Dopamine D3 receptor
According to the multi-process theory of prospective memory (ProM), time-based tasks rely more heavily on strategic processes dependent on prefrontal systems than do event-based tasks. Given the prominent frontostriatal pathophysiology of HIV infection, one would expect HIV-infected individuals to demonstrate greater deficits in time-based versus event-based ProM. However, the two prior studies examining this question have produced variable results. We evaluated this hypothesis in 143 individuals with HIV infection and 43 demographically similar seronegative adults (HIV−) who completed the research version of the Memory for Intentions Screening Test, which yields parallel subscales of time- and event-based ProM. Results showed main effects of HIV serostatus and cue type, but no interaction between serostatus and cue. Planned pair-wise comparisons showed a significant effect of HIV on time-based ProM and a trend-level effect on event-based ProM that was driven primarily by the subset of participants with HIV-associated neurocognitive disorders. Nevertheless, time-based ProM was more strongly correlated with measures of executive functions, attention/working memory, and verbal fluency in HIV-infected persons. Although HIV-associated deficits in time- and event-based ProM appear to be of comparable severity, the cognitive architecture of time-based ProM may be more strongly influenced by strategic monitoring and retrieval processes.
AIDS dementia complex; Episodic memory; Executive functions; Neuropsychological assessment
While there are many published studies on HIV and functional limitations, there are few in the context of early abuse and its impact on functionality and Quality of Life (QoL) in HIV.
The present study focused on HIV in the context of childhood trauma and its impact on functionality and Quality of Life (QoL) by evaluating 85 HIV-positive (48 with childhood trauma and 37 without) and 52 HIV-negative (21 with childhood trauma and 31 without) South African women infected with Clade C HIV. QoL was assessed using the Quality of Life Enjoyment and Satisfaction Questionnaire (Q-LES-Q), the Patient's Assessment of Own Functioning Inventory (PAOFI), the Activities of Daily Living (ADL) scale and the Sheehan Disability Scale (SDS). Furthermore, participants were assessed using the Center for Epidemiologic Studies Depression Scale (CES-D) and the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ).
Subjects had a mean age of 30.1 years. After controlling for age, level of education and CES-D scores, analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) demonstrated significant individual effects of HIV status and childhood trauma on self-reported QoL. No significant interactional effects were evident. Functional limitation was, however, negatively correlated with CD4 lymphocyte count.
In assessing QoL in HIV-infected women, we were able to demonstrate the impact of childhood trauma on functional limitations in HIV.
HIV; Quality of Life; Childhood trauma; Functionality
Chronic use of methamphetamine (MA) is associated with neuropsychological dysfunction and affective distress. Some normalization of function has been reported after abstinence, but little data is available on the possible added benefits of long-term sobriety. To address this, we performed detailed neuropsychological and affective evaluations in 83 MA-dependent individuals at a baseline visit and following an average one-year interval period. Among the 83 MA-dependent participants, 25 remained abstinent and 58 used MA at least once during the interval period. Thirty-eight non-MA-addicted, demographically matched healthy comparison (i.e., HC) participants were also examined. At baseline, both MA-dependent participants who were able to maintain abstinence and those who were not performed significantly worse than the healthy comparison subjects on global neuropsychological functioning and were significantly more distressed. At the one-year follow-up, both the long term abstainers and healthy comparison groups showed comparable global neuropsychological performance and affective distress levels, whereas the MA-dependent group who continued to use were worse than the comparison participants in terms of global neuropsychological functioning and affective distress. An interaction was observed between neuropsychological impairment at baseline, MA abstinence, and cognitive improvement, with abstinent MA-dependent participants who were neuropsychologically impaired at baseline demonstrating significantly and disproportionately greater improvement in processing speed and slightly greater improvement in motor abilities relative to the other participants. These results suggest partial recovery of neuropsychological functioning and improvement in affective distress upon sustained abstinence from MA that may extend beyond a year or more.
Methamphetamine; dependence; drug abstinence; cognition; central nervous system; affective disorders
Research into the biological processes that increase susceptibility to methamphetamine dependence has been conducted primarily in Asian populations. Using a case-control design this study’s purpose was to explore, among a population of methamphetamine-dependent Caucasians, six putative single nucleotide polymorphisms previously found to be associated with methamphetamine dependence in Asian populations. 193 non-psychotic males (117 methamphetamine-dependent and 76 controls) were genotyped for variants located in six genes (AKT1, ARRB2, BDNF, COMT, GSTP1, OPRM1). Genotypic and allelic frequencies, odds ratios, and 95% confidence intervals were calculated. None of the putative gene associations were significantly replicated in our sample of Caucasian men. Effect size comparisons suggest a trend toward allelic divergence for arrestin beta 2 (ARRB2) and glutathione S-transferase P1 (GSTP1) and allelic convergence for brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). Results provide preliminary support for further exploration and validation of candidate SNPs for METH dependence reported among Asian populations across other ethnic/ancestral groups.
AKT1; COMT; OPRM1; ARRB2; BDNF; GSTP1
Spanish speakers commonly use two versions of the alphabet, one that includes the sound “Ch” between C and D and another that goes directly to D, as in English. Versions of the Trail Making Test Part B (TMT-B) have been created accordingly to accommodate this preference. The pattern and total number of circles to be connected are identical between versions. However, the equivalency of these alternate forms has not been reported. We compared the performance of 35 healthy Spanish speakers who completed the “Ch” form (CH group) to that of 96 individuals who received the standard form (D group), based on whether they mentioned “Ch” in their oral recitation of the alphabet. The groups had comparable demographic characteristics and overall neuropsychological performance. There were no significant differences in TMT-B scores between the CH and D groups, and relationships with demographic variables were comparable. The findings suggest that both versions are equivalent and can be administered to Spanish speakers based on their preference without sacrificing comparability.
Alphabet; CH; Equivalent forms; Spanish; Trails B
When antiretroviral therapy does not fully suppress HIV replication, suboptimal levels of antiretrovirals can select for antiretroviral resistant variants of HIV. These variants may exhibit reduced replication capacity and result in lower viral loads in blood. Our study evaluated whether antiretroviral resistance was associated with viral loads in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and better neuropsychological (NP) performance.
We enrolled ninety-four participants and each participant underwent a comprehensive neuromedical evaluation that used structured clinical assessments of medical history, ART and other medication use, comprehensive NP testing and neurological and general physical signs of disease. Blood was collected by venipuncture and all participants were offered lumbar puncture. Univariate and multivariate statistical methods were used to analyze the relationship between antiretroviral resistance, blood and CSF HIV RNA levels, substance use, and NP performance.
Antiretroviral resistance, detected in blood, was associated with lower CSF viral loads (p<0.01) and better NP performance (p=0.04) in multivariate analyses, independent of past and current ARV use and blood viral loads (Model: p< 0.01). However, HIV RNA levels in CSF did not independently correlate with NP performance. Low viral loads in the CSF limited our ability to investigate the relationship between antiretroviral resistance detected in CSF and NP performance.
Even in the absence of ART, antiretroviral resistance-associated mutations correlate with better NP performance possibly because these mutations reflect reduced neurovirulence compared with wild-type HIV.
Neuropsychological impairments (NPI) can lead to difficulties in daily functioning and ultimately contribute to poor health outcomes. However, evidence for the feasibility of NPI assessment in resource-limited settings using tests developed in high literacy/high education cultures is sparse. The main objectives were to: (1) determine the feasibility and appropriateness of conducting neuropsychological assessments among a migrant farm worker population in Baja California, Mexico and (2) preliminary describe neuropsychological test performance in this unique population. A neuropsychological test battery was administered to 21 presumably healthy adults (8 men, 13 women) during a two-day international health services and research collaboration. All but one neuropsychological test (i.e. figure learning) was feasible and appropriate to administer to the study population. Contrary to expectations, participants performed better on verbal rather than nonverbal neuropsychological tests. Results support inclusion of neuropsychological tests into future studies among migrant farm worker populations in Baja California, Mexico.
Feasibility; Neuropsychological; Assessment; Mexico